From 14th February 2022 onwards, fully-vaccinated travellers are only required to present a negative antigen test on arrival in São Tomé & Príncipe. Please refer to our COVID-19 hub for more information. This change is subject to review on 31st March 2022.
Whether walking the cacao route, visiting secluded beaches, or getting to know the communities who make this island so special, our raft of Discover Príncipe experiences—carefully crafted with conservation in mind—shine a light on remarkable Príncipe Island.
Walk from Praia Sundy through the jungle to wonder at the atmospheric, abandoned remains of Príncipe’s first settlement, Ribeira Izé. Here, the crumbling stone ruins of its Catholic Church still stand, tangled between gnarled ceiba tree roots. Afterwards amble along the beach, Praia Mocotó, and enjoy a cooling ocean swim.
Journey by boat across glittering turquoise waters to the enchanting beaches of Príncipe’s northeastern coast, including photogenic Praia Banana and Praia Boi. On the way, pass by a small fishing village for an insight into age-old traditions and artisanal fishing in the waters of Príncipe.
There’s no better way to understand Príncipe’s agricultural past than this curated ‘tree-to-table’ experience, which vividly brings the island’s chocolate story to life. During a visit to HBD’s agroforestry plantation and small-batch chocolate factory, you’ll learn the secrets of the drying process, and taste a range of delicious, cacao-packed treats.
Beginning at Roça Sundy, meander through historic forest before emerging at a secret, nestled beach for a specially prepared delectable surprise. Afterwards enjoy a dip in the ocean, before taking a stroll along the coast to Sundy Praia.
Soak up tropical scenery on a culture-packed driving adventure, which passes through many of Príncipe’s historic roças, stopping off to see local artisans at work, such as ecopreneur Bela de Pina, who crafts jewellery from glass bottles. To get to know Príncipe even better, add in lunch in Santo António, the world’s smallest capital city.
With prehistoric phonolite towers which rise dramatically from the landscape, Baía das Agulhas, or the Bay of Needles, is a geographical wonder. Take a boat trip to this otherworldly bay, within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and on the edge of the Parque Natural do Príncipe, to swim and snorkel.
Trek through the rainforest in the Parque Natural do Príncipe to the island’s largest waterfall, Oquê Pipi, for a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear natural pool. As you hike, an expert guide shares their knowledge of Príncipe’s unique wildlife, whilst looking out for birds—such as the Príncipe speirops—and elusive civets.
Enjoy a leisurely 2km stroll from Roça Sundy, which winds through the rainforest, and the grounds of the HBD agroforestry cacao plantation, down to Sundy Praia’s shell-strewn shoreline where, at low tide, fringing black volcanic rocks can be glimpsed.
Walk through the picturesque streets of the island’s capital, the self-proclaimed smallest city in the world, Santo António. Discover Príncipean traditions and stop in at family-run restaurants to savour delicacies such as octopus with boiled banana, or grilled fresh fish.
Life beneath the waves in Príncipe is as impressive and wildlife-packed as it is above them. Don a mask, snorkel and fins and head out snorkelling to spy on flurries of tropical fish.
For something a little more energetic take this route in reverse and leave from Sundy Praia. Starting with a beach stroll, the path winds upwards through the peaceful forest to hilltop Roça Sundy.
Follow the forested shoreline from Praia Sundy northwest for a short while to reach Praia Marmita, a secluded bay which you can enjoy in perfect solitude.
Ascend through the forest to reach the 680m peak of Pico Papagaio, one of Príncipe’s most famous natural landmarks, for sweeping island panoramas. The volcanic rock mountain sits in the wildlife-rich Parque Natural do Príncipe, which is home to towering oca trees, butterflies and a host of spectacular orchids.
Hike along this hidden trail in the Parque Natural do Príncipe, passing an old port, to Roça Infante. A sprawling plantation abandoned after São Tomé and Príncipe’s independence in 1975, its mysterious ruins have been reclaimed by the forest, and you can spot monkeys, birds and volcanic formations as you stroll.
Some of Príncipe’s most special visitors are green, olive ridley, hawksbill and leatherback turtles, all threatened species that nest on Praia Grande between November and January, and hatch during February and April. During these times, join a conservation-focused trip, led by our local non-profit partner organisation Fundação Príncipe, to spot these wonderful creatures in their natural habitat.
Starting in São Joaquim, this picturesque trail takes in a diverse mix of lush rainforest, rugged beach scenery and vibrant fishing villages. It descends from the forest to the coast, before leading up a rocky river to the secluded Cascata Maria Correia waterfall where you can enjoy a refreshing swim.